Raincliffe rezoning may be studied

January 27, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The county Economic Development Commission has asked Sykesville to study the ramifications of rezoning Raincliffe Center, a 32-acre industrial and business project in the town.

David Moxley, Raincliffe project manager for Security Enterprises of Ellicott City, is considering filing a petition to have the property rezoned, said William E. Jenne, administrator of the county Office of Economic Development.

The town would have to authorize any zoning change on the parcel.

"Raincliffe is the only industrial-zoned land we have in the town limits," said James L. Schumacher, Sykesville town manager. "When it's gone, it's gone for good."

Rezoning the site at Raincliffe Road and Route 32 "is not what we anticipated," said Mr. Schumacher.

"We were looking for a good industrial tax base that would provide jobs for local people -- good jobs in our area," he said.

Mr. Moxley said he has "made no request for rezoning at this time, but we are open to all possibilities."

"Right now, we are just trying to market the property and will consider anything that is economically feasible," he said.

On Jan. 1, the $1.5 million public financing agreement for the site expired when Mr. Moxley was unable to meet the town's conditions. According to its terms, he was to secure $2 million in conventional financing.

Mr. Moxley said "the soft industrial market" has stymied his efforts to lease space in the center.

Officials said the project's failure has more to do with topography.

"He has a tremendous amount of dirt and rock, which makes his development costs high," said Councilman Jonathan Herman.

At the council meeting Monday, Mr. Herman, who also is chairman of the town Planning Commission, said he thinks Mr. Moxley is considering building homes on the site, if he can obtain zoning permission.

Mr. Jenne said finding a level parcel in Carroll County remains difficult for most business developers. He said, "On paper, the industrial project looks good because of its proximity to [Interstate] 70."

The EDC "constantly evaluates the inventory of industrial-zoned land in Carroll County to ensure an adequate supply of marketable, buildable land," said Mr. Jenne.

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